Our founder, Suzanne Mooney hails from the United Kingdom and was originally a broadcast journalist with the BBC, reporting for the Today Show. A chance meeting with Robert Egger (who founded community kitchens in the US) was a turning point in her life as she realised the power of an individual to make a difference. This was further compounded after working with the United Nations in Switzerland where she learned first hand how hard it can be for large organisations to affect change.
Years later, when Suzanne moved to Malaysia with her husband and children, it was in April 2016, that she founded The Lost Food Project, with the help of some dedicated friends and volunteers. They started by distributing food from supermarkets to charities using their own cars: within two years it evolved to be the leading food rescue organisation in Malaysia. Since that day, The Lost Food Project has had a huge impact on reducing food waste in the Klang Valley and is now a team consisting of the TLFP Committee, a General Manager, Warehouse Manager, two full-time drivers and over 70 amazing volunteers.
in her own words...
After I graduated university, I worked in Cape Town, South Africa. It was lots of fun, but a big reality check. I made many friends at the restaurant where I worked; many of them the kitchen staff who lived in nearby townships. Even though the restaurant was carefully run we were throwing out buckets of good food every night, which could easily have fed those among our staff who needed it. I couldn’t persuade them to do that – but I did persuade them to donate to a local soup kitchen in need. But it didn’t last, as soon as I left, this all stopped.
I couldn’t help but think how this had been such a simple solution to such a complex problem. Meeting Robert Egger of the DC Kitchen changed my life. He showed me what a difference one person could make to a community and to peoples’ lives.
None of us ever know what’s around the corner. In years to come I would find myself and my family moving around, first to Geneva and then to Malaysia.
I began to discover old friends working in food banks. In Malaysia, there were no professional food banks taking regular collections of surplus food from any supermarkets or manufacturers. There were many fantastic charities giving out food to people in need – but most of the food was paid for by sponsors, or some fast food chains were donating on an ad hoc basis from time to time. Sustainability and environmental concerns were not a priority.
That was it! I realised there was a huge opportunity here to make a real difference. All the inadvertent contacts I had made and experiences I had could help lots of people if I was prepared to work very hard, and find smart people to make my vision a reality. So a group of friends of mine formed a registered society in Malaysia with two charity projects and The Lost Food Project was born.
The journey of the last two years has been a roller-coaster. I never dreamed how quickly we could make such an impact. In just three years we have distributed over 3 million meals. We have saved almost 2 million kg of greenhouse gas emissions polluting the environment. There is nothing more rewarding than witnessing for myself the difference we make to the charities we support and hearing from them about the benefits of feeding people with good quality food that otherwise would have been lost to landfill.
Nobody should have to go hungry: not when there is enough food to feed them.
Did you know there is over 820 million people in the world existing somewhere between hunger and starvation, yet there is enough Lost Food to feed all those people four times over?
I couldn’t have done it without my ‘Lost Food Family’: they are a group of incredible people who have given up so much time and effort for very little personal gain.
The Lost Food Project family continues to grow and we need all the support we can get. If you can support our work in anyway please do.
Founder - The Lost Food Project